update on freestyle npr line renderer

About a month ago, there was a discussion here in which a number of people wanted to try freestyle but found that it crashed on their computers. I contacted the lead developer, Stephan Grabli, and he has made some revisions that should get freestyle to work with most graphics cards. The main problem was with certain ATI cards. I served as a test bed for the revision cycle (the original distribution failed with my card) and a new release works at least on my own computer and, we believe, for most cards. Freestyle’s index site is http://freestyle.sourceforge.net/ . There are links there to downloads, etc.

Freestyle renders 3d scenes in line drawing style. The actual styles of the lines are controlled by Python scripts called style_modules that specify which lines to draw, at what length and how branched, and with what line shaders. The shaders can also be written in Python. Quite a few example style_modules are included with the distribution. Freestyle uses 3ds files for import and the blender 3ds exporter works fine.

very interesting software, I will definitely check this out. thanks for the link.

btw. there is another similar software called Jot, seems they share some ideas. unfortunatly Jot is not developed any further.


Thanks for the good news arby10101.

I have to say that the 3ds export in the release candidates are working out great for freestyle.

A few snapshots.



great efford arby10101! thx for that, i’ll try the new version out when i get home

Thanks for the news, arby. I can’t get Freestyle to load a .3ds more complicated than Suzanne, but then I’m tired and probably doing something stupid. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow.

@bobtronic - yeah, it’s a shame about Jot. i’ve got a copy, but I can’t do anything with it since the blender2jot script doesn’t seem to want anything to do with Blender 2.4x. In many ways, it was easier and much faster than Freestyle, but Freestyle gives you a lot more control I suppose. Ah well, RIP Jot.

This news got me thinking though - how feasible would it be to integrate Freestyle into Blender to some degree? I’m no hacker, but it seems to me that it should in theory at least be possible to produce a script that exports scene data to Freestyle, which returns a render (isn’t that how Yafray integration works? TBH I have no idea about such matters, and so maybe I’m embarrassing myself!). That way, we could combine NPR with Blender’s animation prowess - cool, no? With the new compositor, you could even mix and match style modules, or combine photo-realism with NPR. All without faffing about with temperamental .3ds files!

The dream scenario would be: Select ‘Freestyle’ instead of ‘Blender Internal’ in the drop-down renderer list, hit ‘RENDER’ and off it goes, according to the settings you’ve chosen. No mess, no fuss.

SO: Anyone out there know how possible this is? The freestyle project would benefit massively from this as well, having all the extra attention from the Blender community. Maybe tomorrow I’ll drop the devs an email with a ‘pitch’ :slight_smile:

I don’t have any really thought-out reply to the idea of having a current or future version of freestyle as a direct npr renderer for blender, but I sure would like to see that. In fact, I was going to build freestyle and investigate that possibility myself, but the current version needs the Intel compiler to build the source under Windows. This was free for a long time but now costs $400. I have my own renderer working (badly) that does the part of npr that freestyle doesn’t–hatching, shading, posterizing, etc.–the non-line parts. I wrote a blender python script to export to my custom format. I would be extremely interested in seeing something integrated.

hey cool. I’m going to try this new version out. The last version crashed on trying to load a simple cube!!

Hey cool, I’m going to try this new version out – the last version just crashed on loading a simple 3ds cube!!

@arby10101 - wow, i’d be really interested to see what results you’ve had with your own renderer. Perhaps you could post an example or two? :slight_smile:

As regards compiling Freestyle from scratch, the project page says that it is possible to compile it with Cygwin instead of VC++ - http://freestyle.sourceforge.net/doc/html/wininstall.html - I don’t know if that helps.

hmm… aare those scripts cmpatible with blender? because I don´t unserstand freestyle at all…

Huge scenes an high poly seem to be a problem.

I mostly model low poly,but have had some of the project orange(EMO model) high poly make thourgh freestyle.

@arby10101 - wow, i’d be really interested to see what results you’ve had with your own renderer. Perhaps you could post an example or two? :slight_smile:

I’m interested also in your results.

If you mean the .py scripts that come with Freestyle, then no. Freestyle imports a .3ds file, does some black magic (which you can read about here - http://artis.imag.fr/Projects/Style/publication.html), then renders it according to the rules set down by the ‘style module’. The Python scripts are the style modules.

They’re a bit like Renderman shaders in that the Freestyle devs are trying to create a universal standard (and an open one at that) for NPR rendering. That’s why it’s a great project, and that’s why it would be great to see it integrated into Blender (would be an industry first AFAIK, and would vastly increase the number of things Blender could be used for).

@ronin - thanks, but the scene’s I’m trying are tiny, i.e. fewer polys than Suzanne (which Freestyle will happily render). No idea where I’m cocking up. Glad your having success with it though, as it means that I’m the dumbass and not Freestyle (and it’s easier to fix one’s own stupidity than everyone else’s…)

Can Freestyle render animations? That is something Jot can do and I have written an Jot exporter for Cinema4D. The nice thing about Jot is that is also suuports hatching and great line coherence.


The bad thing about Jot is that it is Free but not Open Source. So, if the author does not develop hisself any update and/or port to other platforms, Jot is destined to die and anyway unusefull to all Linux and Mac OS X users. While Freestyle (even if I have still not been able to make it work :slight_smile: : I hope for this last version, I am downloading now) is Open Source and can be compiled also under Mac OS X using native QT from Trolltech.

thanks. But i mean. those, for example, that japanese brush. Can I use that in blender?

If your talking about taking the japanese brush script,putting it in the text editor,and running it?

No.It wont work.
A plug-in like a Blen2freestyle python script might work.
Btw I wonder what they had planned for the Capture Movie under File tab.

You’re right, just wanted to know if Freestyle can render animations. Jot is dead anyway, there is no further development since years.


Still unable to make it work.

I am using precompiled version for Windows on top of Windows XP, and I tryed simpleScene.3DS from the data directory and also a Monkey mesh exported from both Blender 2.41 and 2.42 RC3.

All of them crashed when I try to load a Python script from the python_module directory with the “+” button in the “Style Modeler Window”.

From http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~sapo/pubs/wnpr/:

We have released WYSIWYG NPR as an executable called “jot”. Our goal is to continue to improve the program and documentation, and eventually to release the source code, perhaps in 2005. The current release runs on Windows only. A Linux or Mac release may follow.

Of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and it certainly does seem as though development on Jot has ceased. But maybe there’s hope…

In any case, it’s dormant but not extinct (at least if you have Windows installed) - it works smoothly and stably, but lacks a Blender exporter. (It does come with a Blender2Jot.py script, but subsequent releases have rendered it incompatible.) If someone were to write that exporter, or modify the existing one to make it compatible, we’d be in business. The .jot file format is described at http://jot.cs.princeton.edu/ - maybe someone out there knows enough about what they’re doing to make this happen? [cough] bobtronic [cough] :wink:

Jot and Freestyle both fill slightly different niches, IMO, and it would be awesome to have them both working with Blender.

Well I know Haggis, but still not any support for Linux and Mac OS X.

So it is impossible to see Jot like something usefull for me. Maybe Windows users will find it usefull.

But wat about *nix comunity?